Join Claire Regnault for an illustrated talk on the development of her most recent book Dressed: Fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 (Te Papa Press, 2021), including insights into some of key collection items and personalities that inspired the narrative, including Nelson’s own Georgiana Monro and the indomitable Madame Bottenelli.

Claire Regnault is Senior Curator New Zealand Culture and History at Te Papa and has worked as a curator in the art gallery and museum sector since 1994. Although her curatorial practice is eclectic in nature, she is particularly passionate about New Zealand’s fashion histories. Her most recent exhibitions include Eden Hore: High Fashion / High Country for the Dowse Art Museum and Feathermania: Feathers in Fashion at Te Papa. Her book Dressed: Fashionable dress in Aotearoa New Zealand 1840 to 1910 is the winner of the 2022 Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Best Illustrated Non-Fiction.

The show will be preceded by a prizegiving for the Secret Lives Short Story Competition run by Broadgreen Historic House. Both established and emerging authors were invited to "write the story" of the Lavender Dress and/or the Sheer Gown, two 1950s evening/ball gowns in the collection that were part of "The Secret Lives of Dresses" exhibition, blending fashion history, mystery, and a little dash of trickery. The competition was judged by Anne Kennedy and Rachael King, two of New Zealand's most acclaimed authors.


  • $18, General Admission
  • $13, Friends of The Suter


  • Wed 29 Jun


  • 6:00 pm — 7:00 pm


  • The Suter Theatre
  • 208 Bridge Street
  • Nelson